Sam Darnold and Zane Gonzalez of the Injured Panthers

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Panthers backup quarterback Sam Darnold and kicker Zane Gonzalez were both kicked off the field in the third quarter of Carolina’s preseason game Friday night against the Buffalo Bills.

Darnold’s left ankle twisted awkwardly after Bills defensive tackle CJ Brewer landed on him as the quarterback threw the ball.

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Several Panthers players ran towards Darnold as he was helped onto the cart. Bills quarterback Josh Allen, a good friend of Darnold’s, also ran onto the field to offer encouragement.

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Darnold will not return to the game.

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Darnold was 5 of 11 for 49 yards and ran for a 1-yard touchdown to give Carolina a 21-0 lead.

Earlier in the week, Panthers coach Matt Rhule announced Baker Mayfield as the starter against Darnold, who was 4-7 last season as a Carolina starter.

It’s the second week in a row the Panthers have lost a quarterback to injury in a preseason game.

Last week, rookie Matt Corral, the team’s third-round pick, suffered a season-ending injury when he tore a ligament in his foot in a 20-10 loss to the Boston Patriots. New England.

If Darnold is out for a significant period, PJ Walker would likely be Mayfield’s replacement.

Darnold’s injury came just minutes after Gonzalez was rushed to the locker room with a groin injury. Gonzalez picked up the injury while warming up on the sideline on the wet pitch. Punter John Hekker converted the PAT on Darnold’s touchdown.


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